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My Bible Marking Guide

September 5, 2009

I thought I would share this with anyone who may be interested. I became interested in Bible Marking a couple of years ago when I saw how much it can really help in personal study. However, not being one to proceed without a plan, I began looking for some kind of system to provide some guidance. Unfortunately, I did not have much success in finding anything published or on the Web which seemed to fit what I wanted so I set about to develop my own system…

I decided early on to use a color coding system to keep track of subjects and themes. Deciding which colors to use was a difficult process but it ended up being partially based on which colors were available. I found, through a few sources on the internet, that the best kind of pen to use for Bible marking were artistic pens that used archival ink. This led me to Pigma Micron pens (size 01). They are not cheap but they do the job rather well.

Using these colors I established the following underlining color code system which I have found very useful. If a verse or passage seems to fit into more than one category I simply make a decision as to which category best fits the verse and use that color code. The topics can be distinguished as shown later. I plan to try to incorporate highlighting at some point but haven’t decided exactly how to do it yet. I’d appreciate any suggestions.

Subject Categories:

Blue – Subjects dealing with Scripture and God’s Word (Scripture, Law, Commandments, Teaching, Truth, etc.)

Green – Subjects dealing with faith and our response to God (Faith, Spiritual Growth, Ethics, Worship, Prayer, etc.)

Brown – Subjects dealing with God’s grace and His initiative (Grace, Holy Spirit, Wisdom, Election, Providence, etc.)

Red – Subjects dealing with Christ and Salvation (Christ, Salvation, Regeneration, etc.)

Purple – Subjects dealing with God and His kingdom (God the Father, Kingdom of God/Heaven, Prophecy,Glory of God, etc.)

Black – Subjects dealing with sin and satan (Sin, Sin Nature, Satan, False Prophecy, etc.)

I also worked out a set of abbreviations for the specific topic. These go in the margin and allow me to distinguish the specific topic at hand. The nice thing about this is that multiple topics can easily be attached to a single verse. If a secondary topic applies to the passage I list that in parenthesis. I am always adding to this list as I find verses and passages that fit into other areas.

Topics:

Blessings

Bs

Mercy

Mc

Christ

Ch

Perseverance

Pe

Commandments

Cm

Prayer

Pr

Demons

Dm

Promises

Pm

Discipleship

Ds

Prophecy

Py

Election

El

Providence

Pv

Ethics (Christian Conduct)

Et

Regeneration

Rg

Faith

Fa

Repentance

Rp

False Prophecy

FP

Reverence

Rv

God (YHWH)

Gd

Salvation

Sv

God the Father

GF

Satan

St

Gospel

Gp

Scripture

Sc

Government

Gv

Service

Se

Grace

Gr

Sin

Si

Holy Spirit

HS

Sin Nature

SN

Judgment

Jd

Spiritual Growth

SG

Kingdom of God

KG

Teaching

Tc

Law

Lw

Truth

Tr

Love (Brotherly)

Lb

Wisdom

Ws

Worship

Wp

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Ingrid permalink
    September 26, 2012 2:30 am

    Thank you for the awesome idea. I had developed a ton of symbols, but once I got my new bible I quickly realized I didn’t have room for a lot of drawing. This simplifies my system drastically!

    Best!

  2. May 7, 2013 4:42 pm

    I just found this blog doing a search for a “bible marking system”. My wife bought me an Allan Bible for Christmas, so before I get to marking in it, like you, I want to have a plan. Are you continuing to use this method? Is it working well?

    • Knight permalink*
      May 7, 2013 9:06 pm

      Yes and no. I haven’t made many new marks in awhile but I still use this basic system. The only difference is I have been using my iPad lately with the Olive Tree App that allows me to use this same system. Works very good and it syncs with my computer.

  3. December 24, 2013 12:08 pm

    Have been marking up my Bibles for a long time, but just got a new ESV Single Column Journaling Bible. Decided to try a more systematic approach, yet not as complicated as the inductive marking system that I have used before in a study Bible. I like the simplicity and straightforward approach you presented. I am going to give it a try. I can already tell you that the Pigma Micron pens are the best thing that I have ever used (that is actually how I found your post). Thanks for the work that you did to develop the marking system. I am sure that I will find more topics to mark and can easily add them to the card that I keep in my Bible. Praying Colossians 1:9-10 for you and for all those that are spending intentional time in God’s Word!

  4. January 12, 2014 12:10 pm

    I love Your bible coding system. It is the best I have seen so far. I’ve tried to figure out some sort of system myself (which worked ok),but like you, I always seem to get tangled up with verses that can fit into several categories. Your abbreviation system helped me to overcome this dilemma. I know it has taken a lot of time & effort to come up with this system, so, thank you so much for sharing it!

    • Knight permalink*
      January 12, 2014 6:09 pm

      Thank you. I am glad it is helpful to you.

  5. Suzanne France permalink
    February 5, 2014 5:12 am

    Hi Brian! Thank you for sharing your coding system! I started to study my Bible in my native language, Dutch, and was looking for colour coding after reading about Rainbow bibles.

    I was wondering have you made any more changes or additions to your list? And do Pigam Micron pens bleed through the pages? Not sure if I can find these pens in the UK (after just doing a quick search) so before I purchase them potentially from abroad I just wanted to check;-)

    Many thanks again and God bless you for sharing your system!

    • Knight permalink*
      February 5, 2014 7:00 pm

      Thank you Suzanne. I am glad you like it. I have not made any major changes recently. As for the pens, that depends on what you mean by bleed through. The ink will not stain the next page. However, depending on the thickness and opacity of the paper you may be able to see the marks on the opposite side. I use mine on my NASB thinline and this is minimal. You should be ok with the pig a microns but cheap paper is cheap paper.

      One tip for you. I always place a note card under the page I am marking. This keeps the indentations from affecting the next page.

  6. July 25, 2015 9:26 am

    Christian, Would you please send me your study on TEACHING? It would be much appreciated.

    • Knight permalink*
      July 26, 2015 12:08 pm

      I am not sure what you are talking about.

  7. marysayer permalink
    December 26, 2015 1:26 am

    Just found this after getting myself a set of those pens for Christmas. Really helpful, especially your extra bits with the codes for subgroups. Now I’m just trying to settle on an instamtly memorable scheme that will work for me! But this is the best starting place I’ve found. Thank you so much.

  8. February 16, 2017 2:13 pm

    If you still would like to use highlighting in your bible, just a suggestion, I highlight (in yellow, it’s easy to find) passages that have particularly spoken to me, and I add the date near it, sometimes a short explanation in the margin.

Trackbacks

  1. Bible Study Tip #18 Use Color Code | Think On It Bible Ministries, Inc.

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